RIP Yogi Berra

Probably deserves it’s own thread.

Yogi passed late tonight at the age of 90. Hell of a life he had, too. He and Joe Garagiola were buddies as kids growing up in the Hill neighborhood in St. Louis. Both played catcher, although Yogi was a lot better, obviously.

Yogi played in, I think 75 World Series games in his career. I don’t think anyone’s touching that record.

Great, hilarious ambassador for the game as well.

A baseball great. Nineteen seasons, 14 World Series, and 10 World Series Championships. Unlikely to ever be equaled.

I go through the Hill in St. Louis now and then, an Italian-American city neighborhood known for its restaurants, and there’s a Berra park. I always assumed it was named after Yogi since he grew up there, but now I see it was named after another Berra unrelated to him. A bit odd. We need a Yogi park there.

It ain’t over until…

Oh damn, it’s over.

The best dumb/smart quotes ever. We will miss you Yogi!

It’ll get late early out there today.

I met him once

Even got his autograph.

Wish I could find the picture.

I’m 6’7" and was working out a lot at the time. He was just tiny. (Felt the same when I met Tatanka, a wrestler)

Really nice guy. I was part of the security at the place he was appearing.

Err… I think probably practically everybody looks tiny to you.

One of the all-time greats, was Yogi. I’m too young to remember his playing days, but every baseball fan thinks of Yogi Berra whenever the subject of great catchers comes up. Plus, everyone’s heard a Yogi-ism or two.

Wikiquote has a great list of quotes. And USA Today has a cool little photo gallery up in his memory.


Yes, people generally do. Except basketball players, lol.

It is a bit strange to meet these “Larger Than Life” sports stars and TV celebrities(and some movie actors) and they’re just so much shorter than I imagined.

Working for the airport and later some security, I’ve meet many TV personalities that were just weren’t what I expected.

Arnold, when I actually meet him airport once, wasn’t this larger than life terminator. He just 6’ 2". I shook his hand and he mentioned that I was pretty tall.

He’s not the only one I’ve meet. He was the best though. (Hulk Hogan is an inch or two taller and meeting Jimmie Walker wasn’t exactly “Kid Dynomite”.)

Yogi Bear dead at 90.

He finally took the fork in the road. RIP.

Case of mistaken identity, Mr. Rich.

The look on Yogi’s face though. lol

It’s hard to be too shocked at his age, but it is still sad. Yogi was definitely one of the greats.

In the P-D today, Derrick Goold relates a pretty cool “what-if” story.

In 1942, like many ballclubs, the St. Louis Cardinals realized they were going to need a lot more ballplayers, thanks to the war going on and players volunteering or being drafted into service. The team put out a general call for tryouts, and a raft of kids showed up. Hundreds of them.

A kid named Albert Schoendienst apparently hitch-hiked in from rural Illinois. Two kids who were already local legends on The Hill for their baseball and soccer prowess also came: Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola.

As the story goes, Branch Rickey, then still the Cardinals GM, realized that those three fellows were head and shoulders better than everyone else very quickly. He drove all three out to Forest Park to have a major league pitch to them, so he could get one more look at them.

Then he promptly signed Garagiola and Schoendienst for $500 each. For years the story has been that he only offered Berra $250. In 2012, though, Berra said that Rickey didn’t even offer him a contract. In any event, Berra knew he was maybe a little better than Garagiola, and determined to catch on with some other team. Like, one with pinstripes.

The other side of the story makes a little more sense. By the time of the tryout, Rickey had become frustrated with the penurious Cardinals owners at the time and had decided to move to a different club, the Brooklyn Dodgers, the next year. (The Dodgers also offered him a pay raise for that.) Rickey’s biographers have suggested that The Mahatma was no dummy, and clearly knew that Berra was something special, but that Rickey had hoped to hide him or stash him until he could take over at his new club and sign him for the Dodgers.

Another cool Yogi story:

His buddy and longtime Yankee player Phil Rizzuto became ill and needed assisted living. Every day Yogi would go to the place in the afternoon and play cards with him. When Phil got drowsy, Yogi would hold his hand until he fell asleep and then he would leave.

He did this every single day. Someone asked him why.

“We were teammates,” Yogi replied.

A friend: “They’re going to put him in a fun-er-al casket.”

And for the stat-heads. Yogi struck out 414 times in his 19 year career.

Bryce Harper, who is having one of the greatest seasons in major league history this year and is one of the game’s brightest superstars, has already surpassed that at age 22.

Thanks for the anecdotes, Trigger. The Rizzuto one is amazing.

Last night I woke up at 2 am and decided to read for a few minutes to get my brain out of the dream cycle it was stuck in. I saw the Berra news.

The summary on my iPad’s lock screen: “Baseball hall-of-famer Yogi Berra has died at age 90. His death was confirmed by the Yogi Berra museum.”

Where my sleep-addled brain went: “Baseball hall-of-famer Yogi Berra has died at age 90. His death was confirmed by the Yogi Berra museum, where he has been on display since 1977.”

Too soon, night brain. Too soon.

The New York Times gets it completely right with this headline:

“Yogi Berra Dies at 90; Yankee Star Built His Fame 90% on Skill, Half on Wit.”

I will remember him best for Yoo-Hoo commercials!